Tonight, we begin to look at one of greatest pictures of the Christian life. The Exodus illustrates for us one leaving a life of sin and the journey to heaven. We will watch as God calls Moses and then uses him to lead the chosen people of God. Plagues will fall on Egypt, God will provide for the Israelites, the tabernacle will be constructed, and most importantly, we will watch as God leads the Israelites with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.
The book of Exodus has redemption for its theme.
This story of Redemption can be divided into five sections:
We see the need for redemption - Israel was enslaved (Chapters 1 - 6).
We are shown the might of the Redeemer through the plagues on Egypt (Chapters 7-11).
We see the character of redemption - the shedding of blood (Chapters 12-18).
We are taught the duty of the redeemed - Obedience to the Lord (Chapters 25-40).
We see the Lord’s provisions for the failures of the redeemed - Seen in the tabernacle (Chapters 25 -40).
As we go through the book of Exodus, we will see Christ foreshadowed in several different ways. It is a wonderful privilege to be able to study the Old Testament through the lens of the gospel.
Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt; each man and his household came with Jacob: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin; Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. All those who were descendants of Jacob were seventy persons (for Joseph was in Egypt already). And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation. But the children of Israel were fruitful and increased abundantly, multiplied and grew exceedingly mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor. Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah; and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?” And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.” Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them. So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.”
The Israelites spent 430 years in Egypt, 400 of which were under the oppression of the Egyptian government.
Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would dwell in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four hundred years.
Why such a long time in Egypt?
First, the hard labor prepared these shepherds to be physically ready to leave Egypt and inherit the land of promise.
They would have become stronger through the intense labor the Egyptians laid upon them.
Second, God was multiplying the Israelites just as He promised Abraham.
And I will make your descendants as the dust of the earth; so that if a man could number the dust of the earth, then your descendants also could be numbered.
for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever.
Thirdly, God was waiting until the appointed time as he described to Abram.
Then He said to Abram: “Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions. Now as for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
The iniquity of the Amorites had to come to completion.
The New King
The New King
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
This new Pharaoh did not know Joseph or the history.
“But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt till another king arose who did not know Joseph. This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies, so that they might not live.
The word for another indicates a different kind of King. A person from another country. According to , the Pharaoh was from Assyria.
For thus says the Lord God: “My people went down at first Into Egypt to dwell there; Then the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.”
The scripture does not say that the Israelites were more numerous than the Egyptians. It says that they were more and mightier than the Assyrians occupying Egypt.
Apparently, this foreign Pharaoh did not suspect deception when he was told of the vigor of the Hebrew women.
So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?” And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”
At the close of chapter 1, we see a continuation of the enmity between the serpent and the woman.
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
I believe that Satan was using this Assyrian Pharaoh in an attempt to circumvent God’s promise. By attempting to murder all of the Israelite boys, Satan was trying to kill the promised Messiah. God would not let His plan be thwarted and would see it come to fruition.
What can we take away from this story?
God will do what He says He will do. The 400 years in Egypt was the fulfillment of a promise to Abraham.
God uses adversity (slavery in Egypt) to prepare us to be used of Him (entering the promised land).
As powerful as Satan may be, He cannot thwart God’s plan.
Even when it seems that God is taking a long time to work, we can trust Him to come through!